As the COVID-19 pandemic increased, some of our sustainability methods had to decrease in order to follow strict hygiene rules.
It’s an idea that I have been investigating, as I couldn’t help but feel deflated for all the work so many individual people and businesses have done to promote sustainability – to see it begin to decline.
In the May/June issue of Convenience World magazine, I talked with multiple coffee roasters, and those in the café business on how they’re businesses are still promoting environmentally friendly practices.
Those who I spoke with about sustainability in the coffee industry, struck inspiration that perhaps the environment isn’t so doomed after all.
If the inspiration wasn’t truly struck then, it has now – from stumbling upon, Little Green Panda, 100 per cent plant-based drinking straws, set to combat the single-use crisis.
Straw meet wheat
Founder of Little Green Panda, Manon Beauchamp not only knew of the devastating effects that single-use plastic has on the planet, but she knew that COVID-19 was beginning to set us back a little.
“That’s when I discovered a viable, sustainable solution that was used way before synthetic materials were even a thing,” Ms Beauchamp begins.
“I went back, dug deep (literally, into the ground) and brought back to the surface a range of 100% plant-based straws. Just one of Mother Nature’s many, many gifts.”
All products are ethically sourced and support small-scale farmers in Vietnam and Mongolia by providing them with a second source of income from their waste material.
To meet the farmers who hand make the straws, click here.
“When COVID-19 hit, we reduced our prices to make our straws more accessible to businesses going through tough times,” explains Ms Beauchamp.
“… it’s great to see our customers getting back on their feet and continuing to use sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic straws.”
To date, Little Green Panda has supplied straws to more than 800 businesses and individuals, replacing 3.3 million straws in more than 10 countries.
Looking into the future of the straw
“We started off with drinking straws, but that is only the beginning. We’re currently doing some research and development in the bioplastics area with universities and are looking at developing more innovative products to replace single-use packaging,” concludes Ms Beauchamp.
Currently Little Green Panda supplies to hotels such as JW Marriot, Sofitel, St Regis, Hilton Hotel, as well as cafes, bars, restaurants, supermarkets overseas and small independent boutiques across Australia.
Ms Beauchamp says that the high demand of sustainable options means that Little Green Panda is looking to stock in convenience stores as well.